Friday, 2 February 2018

southern exposure or defaced blue ensign

Via Futility Closet we learn that from 1889 to 1968, the flag of the British overseas territory of the Turks and Caicos islands displayed a stevedore working between two piles of salt (representing the chief trade good of the time when the Admiralty decided that the Caribbean islands needed a distinctive banner) with a sailing vessel in the background.
Upon review, a helpful bureaucrat—perhaps ignorant of the geographical location and the main export of the island group—shaded the leftmost pile as to suggest the door of an igloo. The correction endured until a royal visit prompted an update, changing the coat of arms to feature the islands’ symbols—a conch shell, a spiny, indigenous lobster and a native sort of melon cactus whose flower resembles a fez and bestowed the Turkish name on the smaller landmass, with the native Taíno words for a chain of islands, caya hico, making up the remainder.